Equality ombudsman says PCT does not discriminate unvaccinated

Ljubljana – The requirement for people to meet the recovered-vaccinated-tested (PCT) rule to access services, goods or venues is not discriminatory against the unvaccinated who could get vaccinated but have not, Slovenia’s equal opportunities ombudsman has established as he examined a petition from a hospitality trade union.

The Trade Union of Hospitality and Tourism Workers claimed in its 9 August petition that unvaccinated workers were discriminated against on the basis of the PCT rule.

However, Advocate of the Principle of Equality Miha Lobnik said on Thursday discrimination meant treating somebody unequally for their personal circumstances which they cannot choose.

Vaccination is, however, available free of charge to everyone, it is not a circumstance one cannot choose, such as race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation etc., Lobnik said.

What is more, if one has neither been vaccinated nor recovered from Covid-19, access to goods, services and venues is still possible with a negative test result.

Being (un)vaccinated could be seen as discriminatory when the vaccine against Covid was available only to certain groups of the population, Lobnik wrote.

A potential exception to the ombudsman’s opinion could be persons who do not want to get a jab for reasons pertaining to religion or their world view.

Lobnik also said that under the country’s anti-discrimination legislation, the PCT rule cannot be seen as discriminatory for workers working in various sectors, arguing that where one works is one’s choice rather than a personal circumstance that one cannot influence.